NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Ever wanted to pick the brain of a Les Mills Program Director?

Posted on: July 24, 2011

Now’s your chance!

So I mentioned in my last post that I had a bit of a surprise. Well, as part of the celebration for the big twenty year anniversary of the world’s most popular group fitness program, the massive BODYPUMP 80, Les Mills International have asked me to interview the Program Director Glen Ostergaard… and I’m going to let YOU choose the questions!

I’ll be sitting down with Glen O and picking his brain on Thursday, the day after the filming of BP80. Ever wondered about the filming process? How the music is chosen? How a program is choreographed? Any LM related question you’ve always had at the back of your mind about Β the program(s)? Well now’s your chance to find out!

I saw BODYPUMP 80 for the first time myself yesterday and it truly is fitting of a landmark release. There are some amazing innovations, more than one new movement, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t actually come close to losing my lunch at one point… it’s tough!! So as such you may have a question about BP80 specifically itself, or BODYPUMP in general. Either is all good.

I must admit I was very honoured when Les Mills asked me to do this, so let’s do it together. Just post your questions in the comments section below on the blog (not through facebook ideally) and I’ll choose the best questions to ask Glen. Both Les Mills International and I will be publishing the interview. Ask away!

48 Responses to "Ever wanted to pick the brain of a Les Mills Program Director?"

I’ve scribbled down a few questions already that I’ve always wanted to know about and it’ll be really interesting to see if we’ve wondered the same things!

How long do they practice the release before filming. Where do the new innovations come from (the Program directors themselves or is it from a board of sport Scientists). and Lasty how long has it taken Glen to get to his position and what would be tips be for instructors to get the the elite level

Great questions Brayden!

I second the one with where the innovations come from πŸ™‚ How did he start his fitnesscareer? How much time does it really take to compile a new release with from start to the filmings?

Awesome glen! Ask some funny questions aswell πŸ™‚
You do a good job, noo wonder they asked you πŸ™‚


Cool Andrianna great questions, and thanks! πŸ™‚

I’ve always wondered if they get some music releases prior to the civilian majority release dates. Or do they just wait and see what they like, just like everybody else?

Actually I’ve always questioned that too Kim! I’ve wondered if they have the support of the studios, and they work with LM Music Licensing, perhaps they give them upcoming singles etc. I’ll find out!

I suppose a better question would be “what makes them pick the music they choose and how do they decide?”

1. How do they think the PPCA (Australia) and the issue of copyright licensing in general in going to impact what music they are allowed to use in their programs in the future? Do they feel limited right now with what they can get licenses for compared to a decade ago when it wasn’t an issue?

2. How do they start choreographing a track? What does the skeleton choreography look like and how do they decide what works and what doesn’t. How many people have input into this process?

Good luck Glen πŸ™‚

Oh yes PPCA of course Sarah – thanks for bringing that up! Liking Q2 too πŸ™‚

Does Glen have any plans on breaking/smashing the Voodoo Child Record in the future? (BP56-02 is THE hardest track ever)

OMG Brian do we really want to encourage him!!! πŸ˜‰

Ask him if after filmings does he allow himself a week off to just slob out and if so what’s on his menu! Or is he just disciplined all the time –

Also his most embarassing instructor blooper! Like mine “put your ankle on your thing – yeah um other side”

Nice Stace πŸ™‚

What’s his heaviest weight on the bar and on witch track?


Videotape it, i bet it would be fun to watch!

Hi Glen, good stuff! I always try and give as much feedback as I can on BLAH after teaching a release for a while and am really curious to see what the Program Directors do with this, do they recieve many of the same comments from all countries or is some comment culturally specific (hey I don’t know!) Would Glen O maybe have an example on how they have integrated some of the BLAH comments in a new release? Looking forward to the interview!!

Do all PD’s pick their own music or is it a collective discussion with the rest? If the former why do we get the same track in five different programmes for the current release?

How quickly is feedback from instructors/participants processed? There appeared to be a shift in style a few releases ago which seemed to tie in with criticism from this blog. Was that just coincidence with something already planned in advance?

Have LM thought of spinning off their own music label to gain greater control over making the music fit the chorey given the issue with the PPCA in Aus and the chest beating from the Canadian equivalent? There’s a lot of unsigned bands looking for publicity now that MySpace is dying…

On the music question how is the decision made on whether to use an existing song uncut or to edit it or make a cover version? Do you hear a song and get an idea of the chorey or do you go looking for a song to match the planned chorey?

Mike’s stuff was really crap, wasn’t it? (only to be asked to annoy a certain LM forums regular πŸ™‚ )

For the person that’s at home and doesn’t belong to a gym that offers body pump, is there any thought in offering exercise snipits online with each release. Example, if you film the entire routine then edit it down it could then be put up on line under the release. Plus, the playlist is really the motivation to keep going. How do you pick them?

how does he pick presenters for filming? does it has to be always a trainer? has he ever thought about auditioning presenters from instructors?

I was just wondering, what if he thinks a 16 year old should do the program or not (physically).
I’ve also always wondered if the songs were remixed before he made the choreo, or is he the one that supervise the remixes so that it can fit the choreo better ??
Pretty cool Glen, gd luck πŸ™‚

What is his process for putting a release together? Does he start with a song, or does he look for songs to fit chorey ideas he already has in mind? What is the most important thing that sets Bodypump apart from competitor programs ( like BTS version of pump)? How long does he see himself being program director of Bodypump? He hasn’t always been PD but now its hard to imagine anyone else doing it, Glen has been so awesome!

Amazing accomplishment, Glen! You must feel so honoured that they trust you like that. Thanks for giving us imput. People have suggested really great questions so far- a lot of what I was already thinking about. I do have a question about the clothing/ styling of the presenters, especially the female presenters. Who decides what the hair, clothing will be and do they try and match it to the “feel” fo the release? Also, I know that on each release they have one or tow Program Coaches. I would like to know what the job of the Program Coach is leading up to and including filming. Can’t wait to read the interview!

Here’s a question you *know* you want to ask him…

“How did you get such a hot wife?”


All great questions guys thanks! (haha not sure I’ll be asking #25 Ms Marshmallow!) Still a couple days so if you think of any more keep ’em coming πŸ™‚

what kind of preparation do guest presenters go through besides just learning new choreography? do they get feedback on technique? From the time a guest presenter is invited how long do they have to get ready before filming?

GREAT question Jessica!

How did he become program director for BODYPUMP?
What part of being a program director does he find most rewarding/most challenging?

how do the DVD presenters learn choreography for the new releases?

also… is there a struggle having to choreograph two programs every 3 months?

– why does Glen alway wear a cap backwards? His signature look? Any story behind that?

Congrats……that’s quite an honour!

How about how does Glen see the program evolving in both the short term and long term to make sure it stays innovative and continues to stay ahead of the competition (not that I think there is that much competition but I’m slightly biased……).

And the what’s your most embarrassing pump moment ever is a good one……as no doubt we’ve all had a few shockers.

Oh, and also is it true that he’s been known to tweak releases right up until the night before filming?

I would like to know how often does he meet his team, eg susan renata, and who else I don’t know. Do they have a weekly meeting, like people in the real world, hehehe? What do they discuss during meetings – past, present, future releases, feedbacks, others?

How does GO foresee the future of BP, where it will be heading? Will we see new structure for BP, different from the 10 tracks presently? Swapping of tracks? Or does GO feel comfortable with the program as it is right now?

What has been the biggest criticism of his reign as PD so far, hehehe?

I am also interested if GO attends classes of other programs, like BC, BA, BB in his spare time. What other program he likes, other than BP and RPM?

What is his alternative career be, if he did not pick up the les mills program?

Thanks Glenn, you are great!

Ooop, I forgot…since I asked what is the biggest criticism of his reign as PD, I would also like to know what is the highlight of his reign as PD.


I’ve always wanted to know what comes first … do they choose the music, edit the music and then add choreography or … do they have a choreography in mind, then edit the song to suit what they have in mind. It is very interesting to me how well timed the moves are to the music. Sometimes I will hate a song at first but grow to love it because whatever actions I’m doing makes me feel powerful πŸ™‚

He got an amazing body! what other training apart from pump and RPM that he do during a week? Thanks :0)

Since he’s been PD, what’s the track and/or release that he’s most proud of?

Does he feel it’s more important to make the standard choreography accessible to beginners or to keep the pressure on regulars to keep challenging themselves with easier options available if needed?

Great question Dom and great timing just finishing them now!

Hi Glen
To echo what others have been saying – congratulations!
Hope I’m in time to get this included…
My question is this…does anyone at LM think it is ever likely that music will be released for participants to buy? In the past, LM have always hidden behind the ‘it’s not possible’ line. While I accept that this would not be simple to achieve, I do not believe that there is no way of doing it. This could achieve a considerable extra revenue stream for LM which could then be ploughed back into the programs and help LM achieve their aims of 20 million participants round the world. It would also help shift copies of records – surely artists and record labels alike would like this (especially as there would be no marketing costs involved in generating these sales) – and this could also make it easier to get rights to use some music. It would also make many participants very happy – and let’s not forget that participants are LM’s ultimate customers and hold LM’s success in their hands!

Case Study – BodyPump 77-04: Power Press.
Can we have a walk thru of the creative process from Conceptualization to Implementation and trials and so forth. How does a new move like the ‘Power Press’ get introduced into BP and the research about the move. and the follow up feedback after BP77.

adding onto Jessica’s post 27:

“what kind of preparation do guest presenters go through besides just learning new choreography? do they get feedback on technique? From the time a guest presenter is invited how long do they have to get ready before filming?” What process to they go through to pick presenters?

If i am not too late, I have heard that all of the new releases are trialed in classes there. So my thought process is, is Bodypump more like a freestyle program in NZ? Do instructors there teach back releases ever, or are they always doing new, unrealesed (to the rest of the world) songs?

Hi Jonny – yes sorry the interview was yesterday. However Glen does trial in his classes – but only his (3 per week) – so I wouldn’t call it freestyle.

Nzglen, I would like to ask Glen O,

1. How he sees Bodypump evolving as it ages along with a lot of it’s many devoted followers. I have been involved with Pump in one way or another for 9 years. A lot of the die hard believers are aging and I hear people say ” My ____’s_( fill in the blank) are not what they used to be”, or “I now have an injury to my ________, what other options do I have?” My age average in one of my regular classes is probably mid 50’s. They want to keep going but find some of the innovations harder, particularly some of the lunge tracks.

2. What song has Glen O most wanted to use and could not?

3. Why on the forums can we not get a official answer from someone at LM? Many times the “answers” vary from region to region.

Michelle in TX!

OOps! I see I am a few days late to get my question to him…..bummer!

Sorry, one more thing,

When will we get to read the interview?

Have your say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow me if you dare…

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8,666 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 6,888,199 combaters have visited

Tweet tweet!

%d bloggers like this: